Saturday, December 27, 2014

Published 10:30 AM by with 0 comment

S. o. S. [Save our Sisters]



Earlier this week, my co-blogger, Michelle wrote about Sorority Sisters. I loved her post – greatly loved it. I must be honest, I have not watched the show as I have no desire. I am a member of the D9 and the mere thought of the show makes me . . . hurt.

Read: Sorority Sisters - Yep, I watched again

I may not have shared this, but I come from a family of D9 (it wasn’t known as that during their time) and while in undergrad, I really thought about becoming a part of an organization. I stopped thinking about it because I was told it was “. . . a lifetime commitment. . .” and I wanted to be true to that. I wanted to join at a time in my life when I could serve, give, and really be committed.

So I waited.
Then I forgot.
Then it was time.

When the time came, I proudly ‘crossed the burning sands’ . . . and really paid attention to the reasons the founders started the organization. We were founded at a time when women did not have a strong voice or choice in society. Shortly after getting our members together, we were in a march; a protest of sorts for voting rights. Our lineage is steeped in, and connected to, the struggles and uplift of the African American community. At every turn, there was a member of not only my organization, but every D9 (great 8 at that time) to protest, fight, sit in and aptly reject the notion of one race/person being better than another.

We fought for justice.
We sought injustice.
We paved the way.

As I entered the D9, I contemplated its relevance. Over the course of years, I have challenged several
members of organizations telling them if we are only going to tutor, mentor, select our own children and their friends, we have lost sight of why we were founded. Our kids, usually will be ok. We need to work with the children who have no hope. Their mothers have no education, their fathers have not been seen, and their communities have been vandalized and robbed of every opportunity. Those are the people we need to impact. Yes, it is most difficult, but so was every injustice our founders encountered. As they stuck to it, they slowly saw change. Are we now in those neighborhoods? Are we now in those schools?

I do know the organizations do a GREAT amount of work and promote specific organizations. I have seen group community service projects for large ticket organizations – cancer, juvenile diabetes – the list goes on. But as I see this list, I don’t see the potential electorate courting us. Recalling the late 80s and 90s, Bill Clinton and other presidential hopefuls came to conventions to speak to our group. They knew our group had pull and power, and prowess. Now? I have not seen a one at our convention. Please do not mention Hillary Clinton to me.

While these organizations create GREAT works and are connected to their various goals; there is still more. And in the current state, the state of racism, blatant murder of black men, pre-k to prison pipeline and so many social ills that STILL plague our community, we are upset and derailed by Sorority Sisters.

I get it.

Again, I haven’t watched, but I do watch other ‘ratchet’ TV. I have never thought it was a great idea to follow people with a camera and encourage negative behavior patterns. Ever. I have never thought it was a good idea for parents to allow their children under 15 to watch these shows, either. Ever. But they do. That is another post. . . When I think of “the real housewives” franchise, I know these are women behaving badly. They, most of them, are at the end of their careers. There is nothing after their stint on this show. Sure, few are granted a talk show, have celebrity appearances and marry well. But at the end of the day, especially the ‘white’ franchise of housewives, the women are mid 40- 50s and this is their last hurrah. More important than that, they are representing themselves. They are creating their OWN brand – not on the backs of an organization – but on their behavior, their personalities, and their clothes – nothing more. If they can keep people entertained, then they get more air time. Sadly, the entertainment is poor decisions and bad behavior. Last week I spoke about women behaving poorly. These shows are the epitome of such behavior. Knowing what not to do and continuing in that vein is horrific.

The problem with sorority sisters is these are girls – barely women – only portraying to the public what they think WE want to see. In a private group, an Omega expressed is disgust for the show as he knows one of the ladies. He explained in real life, she is sweet, confident and a good person. How she is portrayed on the show – he couldn’t watch. He said he would talk to her and explain how badly she is selling her soul AND as the face of the organization, creating a very negative stereotype for others. When you think of ______________organization, they will immediately think of you and your behavior, not the community service that has been done, not the children who have been educated, healed, or positively impacted by the organization. Is that what you want? He plans to ask her.

These organizations have a brand. If a corporation were faced with their employees going out representing them in a negative light, they would surely be reprimanded; fired. As I recall the day I took my oath; the days spent learning in-depth about my precious organization, this is not our brand. This show reflects nothing that my organization – or the others – represent. We are fighters, mothers, sisters, wives and lovers. We run organizations – not fight on TV. We fight mentally, not physically. We are the backbone of society – as that backbone, we are NOT snatching weaves, talking trash and degrading other women. We are not fighting in public.

At 20 and 25, I am not sure these women know that. Or maybe they do, and want a check more than they want their self-respect. Our founders, after completing protests and service were not taking selfies. They were preparing for the next struggle. They were preparing for their next steps in life; as preparation is key. If these members of various D9 organizations want to represent their organizations in such a negative light, they, too must face repercussions . . . consequences . . . suspension? Letters taken? WE are NOT that. But who is going to tell these women that?

And how much longer are we going to allow the media to negatively portray us?

Moving forward, the D9 may need to take an inward look - are we effective? Are we relevant? If not, what can we do to become more so? How can we continue to be on the forefront of righteousness, social justice and forward movement of women and children? We cannot and will not be taken seriously if we are portrayed as condescending, fighting women who thrive on the denigration of others.

. . . As Free As I Wanna Be . . . 
Goal D Locs

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